The cool thing about having a summer birthday is that sometimes school starts the day after. For a much younger Nes, this was pretty rad. Younger Nes was also a relentless dork, and I’d totally make fun of them for being so excited to go back to school, but they’d have just as much leverage against me because I’ve been fantasizing about school supplies since late May.
What little me didn’t anticipate is that I’d grow up to be a teacher and I would live and die by student schedules. I don’t think kindergarten Nes would have minded. I was mostly concerned with pinning down this whole “letters” business and getting clay out from under my fingernails. Late elementary school me would still be down for a lifetime of school. That was back when there was still novelty in living somewhere hot enough that kids would line up for 20 minutes ust to ride down a hill sitting on a block of ice. Middle school me would be pissed, but I think they’d be pissed just to learn we live as long as I have. High school me would my life is pretty neat but not want to talk about it and instead just read Lord of the Rings together behind the English building.
Given enough time, each iteration of me would probably get over their anger or disinterest or debilitating social anxiety and say I’m lucky I get paid to go to school. That was always the dream, right? School was a pleasant, safe place for most of the time I was in it before college. I always bounced between wanting to grow up to be a teacher or to be independently rich as, in descending order of age I wanted to be them, a fantasy author, a literary fiction writer, the president of the United States, an archaeologist, a professional Renaissance Faire actor, an archaeologist again, a cat trainer, a cat. 5 year old me would probably be happy I at least get to hang out with a cat regularly, so there’s that.
In their own uniquely broken ways, I think each little Nes would be happy to know where they end up.
I also think I could ruin that feeling for them if I mentioned I woke up at 5:30, have almost thrown up twice and don’t really know why, have a weird twitch to my eye, and am getting ready to sit in a room with a bunch of near-strangers for 8 hours and hope they don’t make me want to throw a chair at them.